Rockton professionals celebrate International Women's Day


Some of the nearly 30 female business owners in Rockton

Partnering with other businesses is nothing new to Rockton businesses. Within the village a total of nearly 30 businesses are female-owned and operated.

In celebration of International Women's Day, various business owners in Rockton came together to honor each other on March 8.

Jill Rae Martin-Golden of Jill Rae Finally Art and Emily Danielson of Hi Beautiful Bridal organized this first time gathering. Danielson was responsible for assuring that a photo shoot captured the respect that these ladies have for other business owners; some even share special bonds.

Golden shares that Kim Johnson from the Natural Land Institute, Jennifer Kuroda of the Sinnissippi Audubon Society, and leaders in the Village of Rockton have all been an inspiration to her.

“I really enjoy working with this group of women and I learn a lot from them. Together we try to make downtown Rockton the kind of place you'd like to spend the afternoon in,” Golden says of fellow business owners. 

Whitney Frost of Frosted Farmhouse credits Ruth Gryder at Pick-A-Dilly Antiques for helping her and for being a strong champion when she first opened. “She was a great resource and allowed me to ask her a million questions,” Frost said. She adds, “We have an amazing group of strong women who own shops in Rockton; we all help and encourage each other. It is great to have a sense of community within our community to be able to lean on.”

Throughout any given year, events are organized, some that honor women such as Galentines Day, which this year coincided with Yeti Fest.

“My favorite event is the Vintage Shop Hop,” Frost said. “Although it is a larger, more spread-out event, it draws a lot of new shoppers into the Rockton area. All of the vintage shops collaborate to create a punch card, drawing shoppers to explore all of the local shops.”

Jodi May, owner of Sugar Britches, has teamed up with Connie Kieffer from After the Vine, pairing chocolates with wines. On April 1, from 4:00-9:00 p.m., After the Vine is hosting “No Fooling Around on Hawick Street.” Different businesses are teaming up to bring this fun event to life. Free wine tasting, live music, chair massages, specialty coffee drinks, shopping options and door prizes just tap the surface of what is offered. All details can be found on the event's Facebook page.

Golden and Andrea Van Briesen of the Image Gallery team up to organize Pelican Fest. This year's event is happening on Saturday, May 21 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. An early bird walk is taking place at 7:30 a.m. that day.

Erica Smith of Rockton Sanctuary Spa and Emily Danielson, the owner of Hi Beautiful Bridal, have worked together on different projects. Their collaboration melds perfectly as local brides receive the best in services from both.

Smith echoes sentiments of Golden and Frost, sharing, “It is amazing the impact a group of like-minded people can make on each other and in their community. I myself take great joy in mentoring local high school students and in inspiring learning from my fellow businesses women.”

Diana Weiser of DeeDees Main Street Coffee & Decor has a nice circle of friends including Cynthia Yeiser of Say It In Chalk.

“Cynthia has supported me and my dream since day one. She has been the most consistent in coming in to the shop,” Weiser said. “All in all I live in a fantastic town with some great businesses women that strive to succeed and who run awesome businesses!”

Shelly Schweigart has been the manager at The Gem Shop & Diamond Source for the past seven years, working there one year prior. Schweigart credits Nancy Ajruloski from Ray's Restaurant, Rena Lindstrom of Pokie's and Shannon Wright of Rookies Pub & Grill for being friends and for developing close ties.

Sometime this spring Mickey Grin will be joining women in Rockton business at About Face Tattoo.

In the Stateline, women with strong skill sets and unique backgrounds are self-employed entrepreneurs, CEO's of large corporations, and managers of different types of businesses.
Business styles range from hair stylists, insurance agents, small shops or stores, specialty shops, and art studios.

A number of woman business owners serve on various boards and/or volunteer in different sectors of the community.

The entire month of March is dedicated to women's history. Women in Rockton continue to create a new history every day, one that future generations of women would be wise to follow.

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